I love the concept, comfort precedes communication. But does a child make progress when they’re “too” comfortable?”  

This is a great opportunity to discuss our ‘feelings scale.’ To me, it’s really important that children and teens begin to understand, acknowledge and assess their challenges and feelings of anxiety.  

For younger children, we generally use a “feelings” scale from 0-3. For older children, we extend it from 0-5. We use this scale to help guide our next steps and strategies. In other words, if a child is feeling a five out of five in terms of something being really scary or difficult, we’re certainly not going to be utilizing strategies that focus on a higher stage on the social communication bridge. 

However, in order to make progress, you have to push beyond your comfort zone. So we seek out, based on feedback from the child, what situations warrant – for younger children – a 2 out of 3, and –for older children – a 3 out of 5.  

That’s the beauty of the Social Communication Bridge©. It’s broken down into stages, so the child or teen can easily understand where they are in different settings. They will then engage in the treatment strategies based on their comfort level and being able to move across.   

Again, you’re not going to make a ton of progress if you’re constantly feeling a zero out of three or five. But it’s also hard to make progress in 3 out of 3 or 5 out of 5 environments, as well. So, we’re always looking for the middle ground. Where are the opportunities to push them a little bit, but not too far?  

Through understanding them, trusting their feelings, utilizing strategies and interventions, that’s when we see individuals make the most progress.” – Dr. E